Initiating B2B Sales In Sports

Selling B2B

B2B never gets its due. Despite bringing in potential groups, sponsorship and higher premium season tickets, most B2B is relegated when it comes to ways to sell to clients. I’ve made it a mission of my inside sales team to change that, drastically.

B2B Training On Each Call

For the first time since picking up the phones nearly four weeks ago, our inside sales team was finally able to practice what they preach on a B2B sales call. When our season was only a few weeks away, we hosted a sales event in partnership with the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, during one of their home games, for the impending 2016 Colorado Rapids’ season

Our intention for this event was to get in front of our prospective clients to generate new business for the club. Two of our inside sales team members were able to witness how using sports tickets can help them in their B2B sales cycle.

Shortening the Sales Cycle

One of our inside sales team members, Connor, had a great phone conversation with a local real estate agent in Denver. Throughout his conversations he was able to find out that a sporting event had been used in the past but the agency had never considered using the Rapids.

Back and forth the two went exchanging potential time slots for the agent to come to the stadium for an appointment. Due to conflicting schedules, the two weren’t able to agree on a time within the next few weeks.

For sales reps, this is where a prospecting event like ours comes in handy. Our sales event at the Denver Nuggets game couldn’t have come at a better time for Connor! Having this event up his sleeve, he was able to invite the agent out to the game and she happily accepted the opportunity to meet because it worked with her schedule.

Using this to his advantage, he was able to get in front of the prospective client to show how the Rapids can be beneficial to her business. Instead of scheduling an appointment 3-4 weeks down the road, Connor was able to shorten his sales cycle by utilizing a sales event to get in front of his prospect.

An Engaging Environment

I had another sales team member, Nikki, utilize our access to Nuggets tickets as a sales tool with a company that she had already met with at our stadium. After the initial meeting, this company had wanted to deliberate with their internal constituents to see what package to move forward with. During this time Nikki was unable to successfully get the owner on the phone without him being pulled away within a minute of getting on the call.

Nikki decided to reach into her arsenal of sales resources by inviting said prospect to a Nuggets game. Being able to get out of an office atmosphere and face to face at a sporting event proved to be an extraordinary move. She was able to sit with him during team warm-ups to thoroughly answer his questions about our group and season membership packages. For those wondering, yes, Nikki was able to make the close at the event too!

Make Each Sales Pitch Personal

As sales reps we get so focused on how other companies are using our tickets that we tend to forget about ourselves. The stories mentioned above are two very different examples of our Rapids’ inside sales team members practicing what they preach. If your team uses sports as a vehicle to help close business, don’t be afraid to tell your personal success stories with prospective clients! These stories about yourself and your team utilizing sports can be very impactful. If we in the sports business can find ways to use tickets to get in front of people to generate new business, so can others outside of our industry!

Eli Madden

Eli Madden is The Director of Ticket Sales at the Colorado Mammoth. Madden will be teaching "Building A Sales Foundation" at the Sports Sales Boot Camp in Pittsburgh on June 28, 2016.

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